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Our volonteers

Besides the employees, at least two volunteers are working at our Centre. Young people coming from the USA and Germany as well as students from Ukraine. They spend their time communicating with the kids, preparing workshops and helping them doing their homework, supporting our three main goals, education, cultural events and sports activities. The exchange with international volunteers is very important for our children, they might get an idea of what life in other countries is about and how their future life may look like.

Since August 2012 the Centre „Our Kids“ cooperates with the German peace-organisation „Pax Christi“. Pax Christi was founded during the Second World War in France and soon became an international peace-movement, right now having members and groups in about 60 countries in the world, supporting and organising projects and actions for intercultural dialogue, understanding between nations and fighting racism and violence.

Our partnepartner organisation Christi Aachen“ has its core-area in volunteer-peace-services, sending young people from whole Germany to countries in Eastern Europe, to the Balkan States and to South America where they work in various projects with children, disabled people, youth-groups or different ethnic groups for one year.

Every year two young people, who normally just finished school in Germany, come to Kyiv to work as a volunteer in our Centre. They live on the territory of the Centre in their own flat, spend their time with social families; play with the kids, do homework and organise their own activities with kids such as sports, musical projects, needlework-lessons or celebrate typical holidays.

Also they work in the office of the German-Polish-Ukrainian Society in Ukraine; mostly helping with translations, petitions and newsletters.

If you are German and would like to do a peace-service at “Our Kids”, apply to Pax Christi here.

2016-2017

Charlotte Rufflet

Aljoscha Becker

My name is Charlotte and after school, at the young age of 19, I got a great chance to discover the world once again. I already spent a year in Hungary being on exchange. This time the choice fell on Kyiv. So I am working here as a volunteer from August 2016 to September 2017.

Originally I am from a small town in the Eastern part of Germany but I enjoy discovering the big city life in Kyiv even if it is not always easy. So far I got through this year with ups and downs and gained much experience which I consider to be useful for my later life.

During my time here, I discovered how much I love working with children and I also realised that I will never become nor a translator, neither an office worker. I mostly enjoy the time when I am having fun with the children, trying to communicate with them, which is not always easy since my Russian knowledge is limited or when we just dance, bake, play or learn English together. This time is precious especially because the children are the ones who motivate me, teach me many things and make me smile and laugh so much.

I am not sure yet what I will do in the following years, but when I come back to Germany, I plan to go to the university.

 

Hi, I am Aljoscha, 19 years old, from Bremen and I started working here eight months ago. 

I got the idea of doing a voluntary service for the first time when I was in 10th grade. I was thinking about Africa or Latin America.  But why there actually? However, after some time I felt like the media and society were giving me a certain picture of where to go and what to do. After further consideration, I decided to go to Eastern Europe. It seemed to me that my surrounding knew way too little about what it is really like there. Too much half-knowledge, too many prejudices.

Ukraine, being in between West and East, is a very fascinating country right now. The ongoing crisis and the division on both personal and political levels are very interesting. How do people live in such situation?

Due to the fact that I wanted to work with children and I am not religious, this project seemed quite fitting.
What do I like to do? I like dancing hip-hop, playing football and basketball, and drawing. What am I doing here in the Centre? Nothing. JK. Three times a week I am doing leisure time activities with the children, such as hip-hop dancing, playing football, juggling and for the little ones I do a little dance/play lesson. This is sometimes certainly no walk in the park, especially if your knowledge of the language is bad as mine. Nevertheless, most of the children are my main motivation, their feedback is really heartwarming. After this year I will do an internship in elementary school, work and travel and think further what I really want to do later.

2015-2016

Paul Palme

Georg Suchenwirth

My name is Paul Palme and I arrived in Ukraine in the beginning of September 2015, since then I am working as a volunteer in the Centre “Our Kids”.

I always wanted to go abroad and learn another language. Since I already know Spanish, I wanted to master it by going to Latin America, so I applied to do a year abroad in Latin America. My organization told me that my preferences fit better into their project in Ukraine. After 9 Months of being here, I am glad to be here and cannot think about leaving Ukraine in September again.

Afterwards, I will study something with Russian because I really enjoy learning and speaking it.

In the morning I am working in the office, mostly helping our event manager or translating texts. In the beginning of the year, we were busy establishing the first inline-skater hockey organisation for Ukraine where we have been involved a lot. In the afternoon I am working in one of the seven families, doing homework, playing games, doing sports or just go for a walk around the lake nearby. 

My Name is Georg Suchenwirth and since last August I'm working as a volunteer in the Centre "Our Kids".

Last spring when I graduated from high school I wasn't quite sure what to study and wanted to get abroad experience. I think this gap year is the ideal chance to develop and to come up with a decision in which direction to study afterwards.

The choice of Ukraine as my land of service was made pretty late and was quite a surprise for a lot of people around me. But the circumstances of the project were totally convincing to me and I'm really happy with my choice.

My work consists of office assistance in the morning for the German-Polish-Ukrainian Society and as soon as the children come home from school I go to them and help with homework, play on the sports ground or do creative activities.

2014-2015

Vera Reinhard

Felix Ehmann

Hello, my name is Vera, I'm 18 years old and I'm from southern Germany.

In my free time, I like to play piano and transverse flute and I am in a dancing crew for modern dance.

This year I finished school and then I decided to make a Social Year as a volunteer in another country. I think it is a great chance to learn something about a new culture and show others your own culture. Moreover, you do a social work, you can help other people and you can further develop yourself.

I chose „Our Kids“ in Kyiv, because I like the work with children and also I'm interested in the Ukrainian culture and the Russian language.

I think “Our Kids” is a great project to help kids in need because they have above all a chance to have a better life than before.

My name is Felix Ehmann. I'm 18 years old and from Germany.

I finished school this year. Now I decided to take part in this project not only for myself but mainly for the people who need my help. I figured out that doing a voluntary service is the best option for me. The decision for this institution was very easy to make. First, I think this institution is one of the best for children, second I'm very interested in Ukrainian culture and this is the perfect chance to get in touch with it.

My personal aims are to learn the Russian language and the work with children because of my future decision to become a teacher. It will be a joy and a pleasure to work with the children. There is no more important thing than our children, they are our future.

My feelings towards the work with children easy to explain with an old proverb: Find a work that brings you joy and you will never work.

The work won't be unilateral, the children and I have the chance to learn a lot from each other.

2013-2014

Elena Rother

Ilja Verspohl

“Hello, my name is Elena, I am from Cologne (Köln) and I am 19 years old.

In July 2013, I finished school in my village in Germany and decided to do some practical work before starting to study German and History at university.

First, I wanted to work on some project in Mozambique, India or Ghana but finally, I decided to come to “Our Kids” in Ukraine. Now I am living here on the territory of the centre.

My hobbies are Music and doing handicrafts, that's why I started to teach some of the children to play the recorder. I am also organising a handicrafts-afternoon and giving some Yoga-lessons. Furthermore, I “support” the social-families in their daily life, doing homework with the kids, baking and cooking with them, etc. Working and living in Ukraine for one year is a great experience and I am very grateful for the time I spent here.”

Blog: www.elenainderukraine.jimdo.de

“My name is Ilja and since October 2013 I'm working in Kyiv as a volunteer in the Centre “Our Kids”.

In spring 2013, I graduated from high school and I wanted to do something practically before I enrol in university. Therefore, I decided to do a volunteering year.

Since I am half-Russian, I already could speak Russian before I came to Ukraine. I wanted to go to a Russian-speaking country (In Kyiv everybody speaks either Russian or Ukrainian). I also wanted to do something with children so the Centre “Our Kids” was just the right thing for me.

I like to do sports such as rock climbing, hockey and basketball and I play the flute. Working with the kids, I help them do their homework especially in the subjects such as German and English. When the weather is good, we usually go outside and play for example football together. In the morning, I usually work in the office. I help my co-workers with administrative work, translating or correcting.”

Blog: aufnachkiew.wordpress.com